Rafael Nadal: I don’t know if we can talk about a real injury

(Reuters) – Top seed Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Paris Masters shortly before his opening match against fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday, and as a result will lose the ATP No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic.

Rafa, who has not played since retiring injured in the US Open semifinals in September, cited an abdominal injury.

He said that he still feels fit to play, but doctors were concerned enough about the abdomen problem could become progressively worse if he was to play in Paris this week.

I decided I’m happy to be here and it has been a positive few days for my mental part too to be here again practicing with the guys. I enjoy that and I feel myself competitive but… I just can follow the recommendations of the doctor. I can’t go against that, in my opinion today especially before the tournament has started.

I don’t know if we can talk about a real injury. I can talk about a pain that bothers me overtime that I serve. It will not be fair to say it’s a real injury today but what is sure that if I continue then it will be a real injury.

Our champ needed to beat Verdasco to hold Djokovic at bay, but the Serb will now return to the No. 1 spot regardless of how far he goes in Paris.

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Emotional Rafa recounts devastation caused by deadly floods

(AP) – His eyes saddened and his voice marked with pain, Rafael Nadal spoke about the devastation caused by the deadly flooding on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

A torrential rainstorm on Oct. 9 caused flash flooding that left a trail of piled vehicles and damaged infrastructure from surges of water and mud, and killed 13 people. A vehicle carrying a 5-year-old boy and his mother was dragged away by a river of water and mud, claiming both of their lives.

Rafa, who is from Mallorca, knew some of the victims.

“The mother and the son, I know them. They are cousins of one of my best friends. So I lived the situation from very inside and I really saw the drama of all these people looking for the kid,” Rafa said Sunday in Paris, his words measured and his voice tinged with grief. “That’s part of this life and is a very unlucky situation that is almost impossible to recover from.”

Some parts of the island received up to 23 centimeters (nine inches) of rainfall in around four hours, more than one third of the area’s average annual amount.

“The disaster has been just like 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) away from where I live. I was at home and the rain never stopped,” Rafa said. “It was terrible all the things that happened in the village next to my house, and not only one, a few villages — but especially Sant Llorenc.”

A strong current of water and mud buried cars and pulled up trees on its way through the streets of the town of 8,000. Swamped streets and piles of overturned cars, some of them along the guardrails of a major road, were a common sight in Sant Llorenc. There were also victims in Arta, a nearby town, and in the coastal village of S’illot.

Rafa described the huge sense of loss felt within the close-knit community.

“If you were not there, you can’t imagine how the things were inside that village. I have a lot of family there in the village,” Rafa said. “The family from my mother, my grandmother, sisters and all the family from that side are from there. So I have a big connection with all of them.”

Rafa helped residents to clear mud from their houses in Sant Llorenc and his tennis academy on the island offered shelter to people affected by the floods. He wants to continue offering his support. Rafa, who is making his comeback from a knee injury to play at the Paris Masters, said an exhibition event will be held in Mallorca in December to help the people of Sant Llorenc.

“In some way, the only thing that we can do is just try to support them in terms of try to help them to recover all the things that they lost. (For) human losses, there’s nothing to do,” Rafa said. “We are trying to create something to (raise) some money for the people that lost everything in terms of material values, because people who lost life (there) is nothing to do. Things are so sad.”

Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov practice together in Paris

Rafael Nadal hit the practice court with Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday in Paris. Here are a few photos.

(I had no idea Grigor is working with Andre Agassi, but also after not watching tennis since September, today I saw Grigor’s new haircut. After reading some tweets last week I thought it was much worse, but he’s still the same to me.)

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal hits the practice court in Paris

Rafael Nadal was hard at work on the practice courts earlier today in Paris. The world No. 1 will start his campaign on Tuesday or Wednesday against either Fernando Verdasco or Jeremy Chardy.

Rafael Nadal holds minute of silence for Mallorca flood victims

Rafael Nadal held a minute’s silence at his academy on Thursday to pay respect to the 10 people who lost their lives and the three who remained missing following severe flash-flooding on his native Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca.

The 32-year-old sporting icon led the solemn act at his academy in his hometown of Manacor, which is just kilometers from the epicenter of the deadly flash flooding that engulfed the town of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar and nearby villages late Tuesday.

During the tragedy, Rafa opened the doors of his training center to host families displaced by the adverse weather conditions and personally helped with the clean-up efforts the following day.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner was joined for the minute of silence by his uncle, former trainer and director of the academy, Toni Nadal, as well as the tennis player’s current coach Carlos Moyá, fellow Mallorcan tennis player Jaume Munar, academy employees and students.

Source: EFE

VIDEO: Rafael Nadal busy cleaning out the mud after flash floods hit Mallorca

Flash floods caused by torrential rains killed at least 10 people on the Spanish island of Mallorca and burst the banks of a river, washing away vehicles and engulfing a town in muddy water.

Not only Rafael Nadal opened up his tennis academy to help people displaced by the floods, but he also swapped his racquet for a broom to help with clearing away the water.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal retires hurt against Juan Martin del Potro at US Open

Rafael Nadal’s defence of his US Open title has come to an end this afternoon. The world No. 1 stopped play with Juan Martin del Potro leading 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, citing trouble with his right knee.

Rafa appeared to be having trouble with his right knee and even pointed to it while explaining to Del Potro his reason for retiring. He had it taped during the match and did not appear to be moving to the best of his abilities.

“I was just trying to see if something can improve during the match but no, it was not the day,” Rafa said after the match. “You can imagine it was very difficult for me to say goodbye before the match finished. But at some point, you have to take a position. And it was so difficult for me to keep playing at the same time that way — you know, having too much pain, and that was the tennis match at the end.”